Scripps Academy Receives Grant for Computing Project

Scripps College Academy and Claremont Graduate University have received a $10,000 grant from the National Center for Information and Technology and Microsoft Research Seed Fund.         

Scripps College Academy is a preparatory program designed to prepare students from low-income backgrounds to apply to and succeed in college.    

The grant will support a new program through the academy called Emerging Woman Leaders in Computing. Director Kelly Hewitt said the academy has a current program that allows female high school students to do research projects with Claremont Colleges faculty in science, technology, engineering and math. The new addition adds a computer-based component.

In March, female graduate students will host workshops for female undergraduate
students to expose them to research and careers in technology and
computing. Next fall, the undergraduate students will lead hands-on
research projects for female high school students.    

Hewitt said she is “very excited, not only about the grant but more that this project allows us to formalize a partnership with Claremont Graduate University.” This will be the first time that the academy has worked with graduate students.

The workshops are designed to dispel negative stereotypes about information technology, said CGU Information Systems and Technology Professor Gondry Leroy, who approached Hewitt about the partnership. The workshops will focus on developing leadership skills and completing interactive research projects such as creating a search engine. The first workshop will be March 2.    

“They do exactly what I’m interested in,” said Briana Smith
SC ’14, an academy intern who helped create the computing program. “We help high school students from the Inland
Empire and L.A. in neighborhoods that don’t have resources to apply for
college or write awesome essays.”        

Smith, who does social media outreach for the academy, said she is looking forward to helping create a support system and network for young women in technology. She said she wants to see her peers “become empowered and realize that they have the ability to be into computing.”

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